With the state's temperate climate and rich soil, growing fruit trees in Iowa generally is not difficult. In some cases, all you need is to find the appropriate tree and make sure that it can withstand the worst of Iowa's winters. There may be other cases that will require a little extra work to ensure that the tree has a full and productive life. Pests, pruning and watering are areas of concern that you may have to deal with from time to time.
Plant in the fall to give the roots a time to get established during the dormant period, when attacks from diseases and pests are not as likely and should not put additional stress on the tree.
Prune in the late winter, around the beginning of March, to give the tree time to heal from the pruning before the bugs arrive.
Apply a fungicide at the first sign of leaf budding, typically in April, according to label instructions.
Inspect leaves and fruit for signs of insects or fungus from the middle of spring through harvest.
Coat the tree, especially the leaves and fruit, with an insecticide or fungicide designed for fruit trees, or a product that has a combination of both, if insects or fungus are found. Follow the label instructions for dosage.
Give the trees at least 2 to 3 inches of water per week during dry periods of the growing season. Skip the watering if an equivalent amount of rain falls.
Harvest in the late summer or fall in Iowa, depending on your cultivar.